Many pushing to save Shem Creek shrimpers
SHEM CREEK, S.C. (WCIV) —
Shem Creek has long stood as a hub for local shrimpers, but as more restaurants move in more shrimpers have been pushed out.
There's talk the Wando dock, one of the last remaining docks, is up for sale. Many people worry about what a sale would mean for the shrimpers currently docked there. Space on Shem Creek is already limited and expensive.
Mount Pleasant Mayor Will Haynie is rallying for the remaining shrimping fleet. On Monday, the town will host a special meeting with council members to discuss a plan of action. The East Cooper Land Trust is also actively seeking the funding to purchase and preserve the dock.
Shrimp trawlers are a beloved part of the Shem Creek landscape, the epitome of rustic charm.
Geechie Seafood leases one of the few docks left. Manager Kevin Suggs said there's not much room for shrimpers among the kayaks, restaurants and yachts.
"Here? No, no [there's] no space at all," Suggs said. "A temporary spot for a day or two, yeah, but not for a whole season or nothing."
Suggs said he's heard chatter about the Wando dock's potential sale, but isn't sure if it means the dock and shrimpers will have to go. There's usually about five boats tied up there. There's no "for sale" sign outside the property and those working inside would not comment on the matter.
"If someone does buy and if they decide to turn it into something else that will obviously limit dock space," he said. "I don't know how many spots across the creek the town owns, they could fit a few more boats over there."
Suggs said either way, it won't affect his business, it's just a sign they're located in just the right spot.
"With more people coming that's just more business but then again, it's kind of a double-edged sword, higher property, but more business," said Suggs.